Dream Trip Over the Balkans: From Belgrade through Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Dubrovnik

Sevda from Montenegro had cooked a delicious, spicy meal for me. With the casserole between us on the table, our thoughts drifted to the Balkans. How would you create a route that allows you to see all the Balkans’ beautiful spots in one trip? Sevda knew – and I loved the idea of this route so much I wanted to share it.

1. Belgrade (Serbia)

Belgrado in Servie

I have written about my short city trip to Belgrade before. That’s a place I definitely want to revisit and the aerial connection to The Netherlands is great. That’s why Belgrade does seem like a good place to start.

2. Guca (Serbia)

Guca in ServiePhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic

If you plan your trip in August, it’s certainly worth your while to take the train from Belgrade to Guca. Of course, going by car is also a possibility – it will take you about three hours. In Guca, there is an annual trumpet festival. In 2017, it will take place from the 9th till the 13th of August. Besides trumpets, there is a lot of dancing at the festival.

3. Bijelo Polje (Montenegro)

Just like Guca, Bijelo Polje (literally called “white plain” because of the white blossom in spring) is accessible by train or car. Here you will find yourself in the middle of pure Montenegrin nature. You can visit caves, hike, cycle, raft, or paraglide. Since this area has been inhabited for a long time, you will also find historical buildings such as churches, monasteries and mosques. Besides nature and history, this place is great for trying out Montenegrin dishes. This is Sevda’s home in Montenegro and she rents out a holiday home there.

Reis over de Balkan: Montenegro Village: Barice and Meandren. Photo thanks to Sevda Celebic.

Bijelo Pole MontenegroPhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic
Bijelo Pole MontenegroPhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic

Bijelo Pole MontenegroPhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic

4. Tara River Canyon (Montenegro)

The Tara River Canyon is the second biggest gorge in the world: only the Grand Canyon is bigger. It’s 78 kilometres long and has a depth of 1300 metres. The river Tara, which runs through the gorge, is 144 kilometres long and passes through Serbia (34 km) and Montenegro (110 km). One of the places where you can see the canyon is on thgigantic Đurđevića-Tara Bridge.

Rafting TaraPhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic

5. The Coast of Montenegro

Let’s spend some time at the beach! Montenegro has a coastline that you can read more about in this Top 10 Montenegro. Ljuta, Budva and Ada Bojana are some of the many great coastal locations

6. Trebinje (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

TrebinjePhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic

Time for Bosnia-Herzegovina! Trebinje is a recommendation, especially for the wine-lovers. Trebinje is the southernmost city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a Mediterranean climate, during the year, there are about 260 sunny days, warm summers, and mild winters. Its distinctive geolocation makes it a good base to stay and explore the surrounding areas the Adriatic coast of Dubrovnik is 30 km away, Herceg Novi 40 km, and Kotor 80 km. Unlike the many world-famous wine regions, such as the Napa Vally of California, Bordeaux France, and Tuscany Italy, what makes this region unique as an undiscovered wine destination is that it is the only region with “wine” in its name — Herzegowine –land of wine. In addition to wine tourism, this region is also becoming widely recognized as natural herbarium where growing dozens of precious herbs (Herbegovina) and health-boosting Honey.
Trebinje is the best-kept secret of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7. Dubrovnik (Croatia)

DubrovnikPhoto thanks to Sevda Celebic

Croatia has been on the list of places I want to visit for way too long now and Dubrovnik seems like an excellent beginning. From there, you can easily fly back to The Netherlands.
Of course, this route only shows a part of the Balkans. But the parts you see are stunning, I think. Do you know any places that need to be part of the ultimate trip over the Balkans? We’d love to hear about them!

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